8 Jan 2008

A commitment to dialectics and facticity is a time-consuming thing, that’s for sure. Sometimes we think we’d like more of a ‘whatever’ attitude, or at least access to it. But we are, seemingly, hard-wired against such dalliances. We're all personally more or less happy with this need to stick to truth and the pursuit of same. But in our shoot-the-messenger culture, it is, well, shoot the messenger; and we get into those crosshairs from time to time. Better in our society to be (a) a committed sophist or (b) Janus-faced or (c) a fence-sitting inadequate. These narcissists, schizoids and passive-aggressive cowards succeed. The evidence is all around us. They get ‘ahead’ – materially, socially. Despite knowing this and having to live in and with its implications, we couldn't care less. we’d rather keep our dignity than surrender to the logic of these disorders. This careless, dissociating attitude looks like nihilism – exactly because our society is so out-of-kilter with facticity as a desired state of affairs, a desired destination, something to aspire to. What looks to be nihilism is, though, common-sense and reasonable. Look for art-like illustrations of this as an idea in, say, Jarman’s ‘Jubilee’ or in the modus operandi of the Zurich Dadaists. Our time is, we feel, out-of-whack, barking up the wrong tree. Don’t ask us to join in. We are not interested. We like facts. We are pedantic about facts. One should be. This is a dangerous time. One needs to respect facts more and more or one will lose one’s mind and one’s dignity. The time for arsing about is well and truly gone. Speaking of crosshairs, and as an illustration: To infer some kind of discursive backdrop in a pointless and predictable argument we were dragged into, we once cheekily-quipped: ‘…Despite the 'go figure'-style intersubjectivities of the cynical and sophistry-corroded like/dislike culture in which we live, we think there are certain verities, certain points of objectivity and fact…’. Here we request an Eno-esque ambiance, to include a generic ‘ho-hum’ and a Basil Brush ‘bum bum’ - to reflect our yawn at the prospect of disagreement and its tedious inevitabilities and our compulsion to enter nonetheless. By the way, Brush was an academic, in our view. Like Emu, he had clarity of vision. Best here, though, for us, is Bugs Bunny. Here’s his cosmology, his politics, as we see it, in a nutshell: Fine in himself, not bothering anyone, just wants to eat his carrot, in his hole, then gets bothered on his own property by a predator, gives the predator several warnings, all unheeded, then with no real relish says ‘of course you know this means war(?)’ (always half-way between a question and statement – a talking-point in itself, in our view). Upshot is: Bugs always wins; he gets his closure. We believe he wins because he tells – he lives - the truth. Pulling in more references: Same thing with Columbo. He knows that events make objects, and it is hard or impossible to hide objects and to reconstruct (to lie about) an event, as one cannot as easily or properly fabricate objects which both constitute that lie and disguise the truth. This is the idea behind the whole character. He gets bothered by something that cannot be, that doesn’t make sense. He spots the lie, because it cannot obscure the truth. This, we have always thought, is based upon Poe’s detective, Dupin; as illustrated in Poe’s ‘The Purloined Letter’. Both Lecan and Derrida have philosophised about the wider implications of this piece of storytelling: it’s hiding of the letter in the last place one would think to look – a letter rack. ie. where it belongs; as well as it’s idea of poetry (or art) as an adjunct to scientific investigation, art as a diagnostic and predictive. All that scientific measuring of chair legs and so on to locate the stolen letter; when, the thief being a bit of a poet, decides to think more conceptually, as it were, and put the letter where it should be. There’s a lot in such ideas. Returning to our central point, though: So, one can endlessly ‘go figure’, subjectively, to and fro, trading likes and dislikes - all conveniently underexplained, as if all this meant something inherently good and useful. One can endlessly reconfigure meanings to suit one’s current mood and current argument. It looks like democracy and freewill, we know, so it looks healthy and desirable. But really it’s all bollocks. It's a distraction, a cheap trick. It occupies us when there are better things to be occupied with. Personally, we’ve no wish to live in the shifting sands of ever-reconfiguring tribal affiliations, like some dotty ephemera, like an unstable character trapped in Armando Iannucci’s nightmarish ‘The Thick of It’. Similarly, we've no wish to preach from a pulpit up my own arse, ratifying everything as regards ourselves. We're not interested in promoting our selves; we're interested in promoting the facts. So, we have to stick to facts, even if that means putting noses out of joint. Yeah yeah high-horse. Shoot us, we are messenger.s Evidence is evidence, however.

Best wishes, Belle & Louise x x

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